Social (r)evolution and architecture
Papademetriou, Peter C.
Master of Architecture
The societal values developed by Man have been based on scarcity as an inevitable reality. The unequal distribution of scarcity made possible the rise of privileged classes; or the domination of few over many. Architecture not only served the privileged class exclusively but was instrumental in perpetuating their domination. The Industrial Revolution promised an end to the prevalent scarcity. Consequently the architect in evolving new methods and aesthetics prompted by new production capabilities would serve all the members of society. But as industrialization became a tool for profit-making, the new revolutionary movement through becoming accepted by the elite lost its revolutionary potency and was reduced into another 'style'. Production became accepted as the 'national purpose'. But as the basic needs of the majority were satisfied — to keep production and profit at the accelerated pace — 'false' needs had to be devised. Induced scarcity in the guise of progress has become a new form of domination. However there are indications of new social and political behavior which are manifested in the 'refusal'. A refusal of accepting the old values based on scarcity and kept alive through induced scarcity. The forces that can be instrumental in effectuating change lie within the ethnic minorities, and the new class of people who are evolving an awareness of new priorities affecting the quality of life and freedom. In answering the new social needs the architect could find his new responsibilities, and discover the 'ultimate client'.